Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Minimum Wage
Did any of you happen to see the Newhour's report on the minimum wage yesterday? If you haven't, take a few minutes and give it a look.

Interestingly, Utah and Washington state (neighbors) are quite a contrast in minimum wage. Utah has the lowest at the federal minimum of $5.15 while Washington, literally a few blocks down the road, has the highest at $7.25/hr. Yes, there are the usual anecdotal poster boys of small businesses in Utah complaining that a proposed federal increase would create economic havoc in their businesses. But what was striking is the lack of negative impact right across the border in Washington with it's higher minimum wage. An economist with the state of Washington flatly stated that after and in-depth study in the region, he could find zero difference in the health of business between the two states or in his region.

One businessman in particular was a full-out gust of fresh air. He spoke of the importance of paying his employees a living wage and was disdainful of those in business who complain about it. He spoke of business people needing to be willing to make less in profit for the good of their employees, their business, and their society. Wow.

As a side note. One guy in Utah was complaining that he'd only made $200,000 in profit last year in his small restaurant and that an increase in the minimum would hurt his profits. What? He made $200,000 and he's complaining? Remember this. Whenever a businessman tells you this, the profit is after he/she has paid themselves a salary from the business as well. In other words, it's purely the rewards of the business on top of salary.
Blogger Lynne said...
When will greed be something shameful again?